On March 6, 2017, both the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Ways and Committee released draft legislation, the “American Health Care Act,” to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Each Committee will mark-up its respective policies on March 8, 2017. After mark-up, the House Budget Committee will combine the bills into one House bill. Modifications to the bill are anticipated prior to the legislation receiving consideration on the House floor.
AOPA’s health care counsel, Alston & Bird, has provided a broad overview of key issues and policies in the legislation. Among other things, the legislation (when taken together) would repeal the penalties associated with the individual and employer mandates retroactively to 2016. The legislation would allow insurance companies to impose a 30 percent late-enrollment surcharge on individual or small group market applicants who had a lapse in coverage for more than 63 days, phases out the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and transitions the program to a per capita cap model, and eliminate a number of ACA taxes. The legislation would delay the “Cadillac Tax” on high cost health plans until 2025. The legislation also would preserve certain provisions of the ACA, including provisions that allow children to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26 and that require insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions.